Mitochondria as the primary target of resveratrol-induced apoptosis in human retinoblastoma cells

Dhruv Sareen, Paul R. Van Ginkel, Jennifer C. Takach, Ayesha Mohiuddin, Soesiawati R. Darjatmoko, Daniel M. Albert, Arthur S. Polans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. To determine the molecular mechanisms by which resveratrol induces retinoblastoma tumor cell death. METHODS. After resveratrol treatment, Y79 tumor cell viability was measured using a fluorescence-based assay, and proapoptotic and antiproliferative effects were characterized by Hoechst stain and flow cytometry, respectively. Mitochondrial transmembrane potential (ΔΨm) was measured as a function of drug treatment using 5,5′,6,6′-tetrachloro-1,1′,3,3′- tetraethylbenzamidazolocarbocyanin iodide (JC-1), whereas the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria was assayed by immunoblotting and caspase activities were determined by monitoring the cleavage of fluorogenic peptide substrates. RESULTS. Resveratrol induced a dose- and time-dependent decrease in Y79 tumor cell viability and inhibited proliferation by inducing S-phase growth arrest and apoptotic cell death. Preceding cell death, resveratrol evoked a rapid dissipation of ΔΨm. This was followed by the release of cytochrome c into the cytoplasm and a substantial increase in the activities of caspase-9 and caspase-3. Additionally, in a cell-free system, resveratrol directly induced the depolarization of isolated mitochondria. CONCLUSIONS. These results demonstrate that resveratrol, a nontoxic natural plant compound, inhibits Y79 cell proliferation and stimulates apoptosis through activation of the mitochondrial (intrinsic) apoptotic pathway and may warrant further exploration as an adjuvant to conventional anticancer therapies for retinoblastoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3708-3716
Number of pages9
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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